“In his “On Growth and Form”, D’Arcy Thompson defends the idea that, for the study of morphogenesis, the role played by mechanics and physics are underestimated. Science of Forms, as D’Arcy Thompson intends it, deals with “the forms assumed by matter under all aspects and conditions, and in a still wider sense, with forms which are theoretically imaginable”.
If considered from point of view of design, this statement opens several questions: how is it possible to work on theoretical imagination? What could be the role of analogy in exploring the world of possible forms?
With these questions in mind, I will consider two related aspects of the work on morphogenesis of Alan Turing (the study of non-linear equations, and the use of digital calculus), shedding light on Turing approach to theoretical biology.”
– Sara Franceschelli –
BIOCITIES – Lunchtime Lectures 2014 – MArch URBAN DESIGN II – THE BARTLETT – 22 Gordon Street London WC1H 0QB
Sara Franceschelli is associate professor in epistemology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and a member of the IXXI, Rhône Alpes Complex Systems Institute. She was trained as a physicist at the University of Bologna and holds a PhD in epistemology and history of science on the construction of physical meaning for the transition to turbulence. Franceschelli is also in charge of the course of morpho-structure at the Ecole nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris. Her current work focuses on morphogenesis and dynamical systems, and on the figure of the epigenetic landscape. Her most recent research, ‘Morphogenesis and dynamical systems. A view instantiated by a performative design approach’, is featured in ‘Imagine Math 2: Between Culture and Mathematics‘.